Adrian Peterson says he's back in the mix

Peterson went through his first walk-through of the season Sunday. (AP)

Late Saturday night, we brought you the report that Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson would be taken off the Physically Unable to Perform list Sunday, go through a limited practice the same day and then work out fully with his teammates by Tuesday.

The first two parts of that plan came to fruition Sunday, and afterward, Peterson -- making the long rehab recovery from the ACL and MCL he tore last December -- declared that he was ready to go.

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"Oh man, it's just the next step,” Peterson told reporters, including the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “I feel good that I'm off. I can get back out here with the guys on the field and get back to playing. Get back into the offense and slowly squeeze back in there."

The decision by the Vikings to place Peterson on the PUP list at the beginning of training camp was met with resistance by Peterson. Just seven months after tearing up his knee, he wanted to begin practicing in training camp immediately.

Coach Leslie Frazier and the training staff, though, thought better of that idea.

But on Sunday, they felt Peterson was ready to begin preparing himself for the regular season. Slowly, of course.

"I want to caution you," Frazier said. "I know there are a lot of fans who are very optimistic and excited about seeing him back. But for us, it's just part of the process. It doesn't mean a whole lot other than he's done a great job in his rehab up to this point off to the side with our strength coaches, [head athletic trainer] Eric Sugarman and his staff and our medical staff. The next step for him in the process would be to get integrated with his teammates. And that's just what it means. He's done everything he can do on the side. It doesn't mean in the future that he's going to be lining up with our team in the opening game. We don't know that. We have a long time to determine that."

For now, one step at a time. Per the CBA, he has to practice for two days without pads, so Peterson can’t participate fully until Tuesday. And even though he was only in a walk-through practice inside a gym Sunday, he couldn’t help but feel pumped to be back.

“I was like a kid in a candy store today,” Peterson said. “When I came out here and they threw me in with the first group. I was smiling. I had to try to calm myself down. I was going a little too fast for a walkthrough in the beginning. For me, this is so satisfying. I had a lot of people doubting me and saying this and saying that. But I kept my faith and kept working hard. Now, I'm back in the mix."

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